Future directions for comparative education dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region
The broad goals of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) are: (1) to advance education for international understanding in the interests of peace, intercultural co-operation, mutual respect among peoples and observance of human rights; and (2) to improve education systems so that the right of all to education may be more fully realized. The Council comprises representatives of 39 national, regional or language-based comparative education societies. In all, membership of these societies is spread throughout every continent (other than Antarctica) in more than 80 nations. The WCCES has a unique leadership role in promoting comparative education dialogue. Two key concepts are highlighted in this paper: those of regionalism, and of partnership. The first concept, regionalism, is discussed in relation to shifting alliances and realignments of political, ideological and geographic borders occurring in the name of globalization, and their impact on regional priorities for educational reform. The second concept, that of partnership, is discussed in relation to both successful international policy and planning agreements, and the more controversial nature of so-called "development" partnerships for international educational assistance. The complexities of Asia-Pacific regional connections form the background framework for the paper. Education comparativists from the Asia-Pacific region are demonstrating active leadership in furthering dialogue in comparative and international education.